Blog dedicated to reporting on Mexican drug cartels
on the border line between the US and Mexico

Wednesday, October 4, 2023

'Chapitos' Silence Dealers Still Selling Fentanyl In Sinaloa

"Sol Prendido" for Borderland Beat

After Ovidio's capture, his brothers instructed that it was forbidden to trade in the opioid. Witnesses reveal that at least a dozen dealers have been killed with a scarlet signature: pills strewn around.

Between September 15 and 20, drug dealers in Culiacan and Mazatlan, Sinaloa, received the same instruction on their phones from different suppliers. On their screen was the announcement of a change in the "menu" for customers: fentanyl is prohibited as a mixer to enhance the effects of cocaine, marijuana and other synthetic drugs.

"The decision comes from above, from the brothers, and anyone caught disobeying will be punished," read the Whatsapp message that one of the recipients shared with MILENIO. The message was not explicit in the sanction, but it was not necessary: the punishment is death.

In January of this year, 20 days after the successful arrest of Ovidio Guzmán, an anonymous 911 call led state police to two men handcuffed on a dirt road on the Benito Juárez highway. One was already dead, the other died minutes later. So that there would be no doubt about the reason for the shootings, the killers left fentanyl pills next to their victims tortured with barbed wire.

"Everything changed when they caught El Ratón," says the dealer who shared the messages, a 29-year-old who during the pandemic joined the troop of Chapo Guzman's sons excited by his friends' profits with fentanyl as a seasoning for other drugs. Thanks to that powerful opioid he bought his first motorcycle, a Play Station 5 and paid off his debts.

"Suddenly, fentanyl was disavowed and Los Chapitos began to write off even their own sellers (who didn't listen)."

That double homicide on January 26 kicked off a deadly manhunt against alleged fentanyl dealers working for Ivan Archivaldo, Jesus Alfredo and Joaquin Guzman. According to the source, there have already been at least 10 murders or disappearances. The scarlet markings are fentanyl pills near the bodies or bills that remind the "pushers" that there is no amount of money worth their lives.

The most notorious homicide in this spate occurred last September, when the body of Luis Javier, a high-profile opioid trafficker for whom the U.S. government was offering a $1 million reward, was also found in Culiacan. Before he could be arrested, extradited and forced to turn on Los Chapitos in exchange for a prison benefit, someone silenced Luis Javier for good.

The Whatsapp chain that secretly ran through the cell phones of the drug dealers ended with emoticons: four skulls, one for each Chapito who would watch them from some hiding place to make sure they were all in line with the criminal enterprise's new policy.

"Deal with the consequences": Los Chapitos

Los Chapitos' private war against fentanyl became public on Monday, October 2. At least three banners appeared in Sinaloa's capital city in which the so-called Minores prohibited the sale, manufacture, transport or any business in Sinaloa involving fentanyl. The message ended with the following message: "Be aware of the consequences".

The banners read that the decision was made by Los Chapitos in the face of two scenarios: an alleged media disinformation campaign and the government's failure to investigate and prosecute "the real culprits of this epidemic."

The messages were posted at three crucial moments. The first: less than a month after Ovidio Guzman was extradited to the United States, where authorities could convince him to violate the mafia's code of silence and accuse his brothers in exchange for avoiding spending the rest of his life in a cell.

The second: less than a week after the circulation on social networks of videos of a strong military operation in Badiraguato, Sinaloa, the birthplace of the Sinaloa Cartel and where Los Chapitos are rumored to be hiding from an extradition order.

So far, the Armed Forces have not reported whether the operation was aimed at arresting any capo accused of trafficking fentanyl or establishing protection guidelines for an upcoming visit by President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador to inaugurate the Badiraguato - Guadalupe y Calvo highway.

And the third: less than a day after State Department spokesman Matthew Miller told a press conference that the U.S. government wants to see more drug traffickers captured and more fentanyl labs dismantled in Mexico as proof that binational collaboration against drug trafficking is working.

The three-way message - within the cartel, to the Mexican government and to the U.S. government - keeps Mexico's Pacific drug dealers on edge: can they afford to give up fentanyl?

"A lot of people got used to the profits."

The fentanyl business is estimated at $1 billion annually for organized crime, according to the US Congressional Bicameral Commission to Combat Synthetic Opioid Trafficking. This is a historic figure for any cartel's profits, and yet the authors of the report published in February 2022 acknowledge that it is a conservative estimate.

The number is magnified considering that fentanyl is not a drug that is sold pure. It is a mixer that detonates euphoria and relief, so it can be combined with almost any narcotic. If mixed with cocaine, marijuana, heroin or methamphetamines, the profit can be as much as $150 billion, as it was in 2016, according to accounts done in the U.S. Senate.

In addition to the profits associated with the sale, fentanyl produces savings in processing and trafficking: it does not need green areas for cultivation, precursor chemicals are cheap, Chinese suppliers are replaceable if they are killed or arrested, specialists are not needed to cook it, large laboratories are not required, and because of its potency it can be shipped in discrete quantities which reduces the shrinkage in case of seizure. It's all profit, profit and profit.

"Suddenly, fentanyl was disallowed, and Los Chapitos began to kill even their own dealers" -- Ariel Ojeda

For this reason, some dealers in Sinaloa do not seem to agree with the veto lifted by Los Chapitos. Otto, a friend of the source who spoke to this newspaper, feels betrayed: he recalls that in 2016 fentanyl appeared on the "menu" for clients and the first winners of millions of dollars were the heads of the cartel.

It took several years for the fentanyl profits to reach the hands of the sellers in popular neighborhoods, and now that it seemed that the profits were beginning to democratize, Los Chapitos have put the brakes on everything to do with this opioid. He doesn't agree, but he's not going to rebel either.

"The problem is that many people got used to the good profits. One could sell cheap coke at a 'washed' price, if you added a little fentanyl because it makes everything more potent and the client thinks you are giving him something of good quality.

"I don't doubt that many have already stopped selling or are going to stop selling. I also don't doubt that many are going to go free, but that's up to them. I'm not going to risk it," says the young dealer. "I'm going to obey."

"They come in like any other inspector."

Pursued by the U.S. government, which has intensified pressure on Mexican authorities to arrest Los Chapitos and bring them to foreign courts, Guzmán Loera's sons have transferred that pressure to the dealers in their strongholds and have begun a series of random inspections in their "drug points," that is, houses where personal doses are offered to drug users, according to the two dealers.

The inspections are carried out by the heads of neighborhoods or regions, who are tasked with alerting their superiors if someone is using fentanyl, the same method the Sinaloa Cartel used during the pandemic, when they audited grocery stores or establishments that sold beer and spirits clandestinely to ensure that the overpricing on the cans and bottles gave organized crime sufficient profit margins.

MILENIO sought out local authorities in the National Guard and the Public Security Secretariat to find out if they were aware of these movements and their position on the matter, but there was no return communication.

"They arrive like any other inspector and say 'let's see your product' and if you come out okay, then there is no problem. But if you bring a problem, well... you can imagine what happens," he says.

On May 4, a letter signed by Los Chapitos reached the offices of MILENIO. In the letter, the sons of Joaquin El Chapo Guzman assured that they are not the heads of the Sinaloa Cartel, that their name is used by drug traffickers independent of their family tree, and that they have never worked with "fentanyl," although they recognize that in Sinaloa there are those who manufacture and sell it.

That message already showed what is happening now in Sinaloa: in public and in private, Los Chapitos have declared war on the drug that has made them the number one villain in the United States.



  1. The dumbas-es say they've never been involved with fentanyl, and now they sending messages that it's off the menu .... f ing idiots ... they are putting their own selves out there with that .... they ain't the sharpest pencils in the box

    1. Luis Chapparo is reporting that it is all bullshit they just put those up to stop competitors and independent from producing they trying to put a choke hold on the fent game

    2. What do you expect 1:20 unlike they're father they have never experienced poverty. They simple cant understand the people who make up they organization. they are spoiled brats. Its over for them.

    3. 06:32 who is Luis Chaparro? Can he be trusted?

    4. Makes zero sense if a play to corner fentanyl market after brother extradited likely to be sent to supermax with dad. Views like that diminish my confidence Luis Chapparo spreads nonsense given by coked out low level nobodies.

  2. Pero no cae pedo si venden crystal en otros estados.
    Y luego pinche gente pendeja que se quiere drogar se la traga toda mientras estos cuates se rien de la fortuna que hacen de ustedes.
    Y se rien mas cuando ni dinero traen para comprarla jajaja.

  3. Snitchaloas back peddling, no que tiraban esa basura.

  4. How the hell do these guys run a billion dollar drug business? What a bunch of idiots hunted by the US government forever.

    1. It was their dad

    2. 1:48 Because they don't run a billion dollar business. Certainly not in a calendar year and not when subtracting bribes, loss of product, non payment and all the overhead from their sicarios and tools. Not even in gross revenue generated by them and their distributors at wholesale. If that were the case why bother manufacturing pills and sending them to their employees or clients?
      How many tons of coke, which is the only valuable drug they move, do they realistically traffic to the USA? 10, 20, 30, 40, 50? Put the average price of the kilo at 15k, which would be high when factoring the bricks they sell in México depending on the location, and even at 50tons , which is unrealistic, puts them at $750million. It ain't happening.
      I'm not a hater, they can have it, I'll be at peace with my conscience and freedom.

    3. At 506 let me ask you something. How much does a kilo go for in Mexico. And where are you getting a key at 15? I thought that people in Colombia pay like 4 or 5 thousand. So it still a pretty good profit. I would rather sell coke that fentanyl. I guess I’m a dealer with a heart lol.
      Rubio NYC

    4. 2:42 is correct Chapo ran a billion dollar organization Chapitos are "flops"

    5. 6:55 when buying a ton the price in the source country is about $2000 per kilo. There's an article here where Chapo, his nephew and a Colombian are recorded by phone tap negotiating tons. 1000 kilos is a ton @2K per brick=$2million. This magical $2000 per kilo has been mentioned since the 90's. IDK why.
      Chapitos are the face of a group of "investors" when buying product from a source, same thing with MZ , CJNG, CDN, La _____, CDG, LFM, Chapo Isidro/BLO etcétera. Depending on the method used to transport the merchandise and how many palms need to be greased the price goes up. Chiapas and S México is where the price will be lowest. My guesstimate is $7K. CDM $8-9K. GDL$8.5-10K. CLN$9-11. TJ$11-13K. LA$15-17K These numbers are for "original" coke. When your connection is low on supply and he knows it might take some time to get more he'll bump up $500-1000. You being in NY, a long ass way from LA, Phoenix, Albuquerque, EP, SA, Dallas or Houston, all major cities that serve as distribution hubs for the Mexican trafficking groups, you're probably getting it at best 3rd or 4th hand so the cost has increased significantly. Another thing is each city has a market cost. Everyone is trying to make the most they can so the distributors will be within $2k of each other. 🎶If it don't make dollars it don't make sense.🎶

    6. Ahh none of the pinche washed limpio polva only the virgin Original is considered for the White House Presidential smelling party outside the Oval Office.

    7. I know in Austin Tx it's between 17-20k for really good cocaine, prbly cut one or two times by the time it gets here it's who you know and how much you want . But it's readily available and pretty steady . Shiny and flakey real smoothe easy comedian.

    8. @7:58 they cost 7,900-8,300 here on cln

    9. 7:58, you can go see the tonnage that is seized at the border each year on the Customs and Border Patrol web page. That just what's caught each year. Gross tonnage of all drugs is in the 1000s of tons each year. Hell, there was a bust in Philly of a Billion $ load a couple years back. I think you misunderstand how much is flowing into thr US each year. Not to mention the rest of the world.

    10. 5:02 that Philly bust in 2019 was on a boat that was heading to Europe. Nothing to do with México. Coke bust are what matters, that's the money drug, weed, meth and pills are worthless.

    11. 11:44 even lower than my guesstimate. The flete to the border and more importantly across the border are what increases the price considerably.

    12. That’s why 12-17 in the US

      Unless it’s higher level wholesale imported shipments

      Doesn’t make much sense.

      You get it from Culiacan to Tijuana and only put 3 points on it?

      You cross from TJ to US and only put 3 points on it?

  5. They are killing all of the competition, but they are still up to their necks in manufacturing and exporting fentanyl to the U.S. If anyone believes that the Chapitos aren't selling fentanyl in Culiacan, I have a bridge in Detroit that I can sell to you.

    1. @02:22 is that the bridge to Canada?

    2. 2:43:
      No. Kwame Kilpatrick turned that bridge over to the Canadiennes. However, I can sell you a couple of abandoned factories if you are interested.
      Kwame Kilpatrick is the Detroit Mayor that was sentenced to 28 years in federal prison and pardoned by Trump.

    3. Awesome! Thanks Detroit.

      The warehouses sound really cool too. We could turn them into a Borderland Beat charity STEM lab Hacker Space lounge with a nice cafe.

    4. Sicario 006 already beat you to this idea. He's using this as a cover for his operations. The last guy who tried to compete with Sicario 006 is sleeping at the bottom of the Detroit River.

    5. Detroit why did kwame turned the bridge over to the Canadians?

  6. Don’t worry they can lock up all the chapos but the Chicanos and local street gangs will keep pushing it. They ain’t scared of los gringos pecosos.

  7. Kinda got to wonder about this guys wife could be related to Mexican cartels.

  8. Los chapitos mueven toneladas de coca

  9. So here is the proof… it IS true that traffickers were mixing the shit in coke and what not!


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